Planting And Mulching Perennial Gardens - Knowledgebase Question

Northampton, MA
Question by EKS
April 18, 2001
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO PLANT PERENNIALS? THE LAST FROST DATE FOR ZONE 5 WHICH IS MY REGIONS IS MAY 31. FO I NEED TO WAIT FOR THAT DATE BEFORE I CAN PLANT PERENNIALS. TIA


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Answer from NGA
April 18, 2001

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You can plant dormant bare root perennials as soon as the soil can be worked, and you can plant container grown perennials that are acclimated to the weather as soon as the soil can be worked. Perennials coming out of a protected greenhouse may need to be conditioned and if they are very tender, may need to be protected from freezing temperatures. Those that have been growing outdoors can be planted any time in the spring. A year round layer of organic mulch about two inches thick is fine. The mulch would be placed over the root zone and around the perennials but not over top of the foliage or crown.

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